The Ride...of my life

First off, let me apologize. This post is insanely late! I came out of the ride feeling surprisingly good (maybe a little too good thanks to all those endorphins), but within a few days I went down hill. I finally dragged my butt to the Dr's - the diagnosis Pneumonia - YUCK!

Now, just over 3 weeks later I'm finally getting back to my usual self and catching up on the things that need to be done.

 

The question that has allowed me to put this off for so long is this...where do I start? what do I share? how do I put into words what this ride has been?

This morning I had an email from a friend who had originally intend to ride beside me. He was apologizing for taking so long to ask me how the ride had been. This was my response:

"Oh my goodness! It was quite the experience. It was in many ways an emotional roller coaster. The joy of what I was doing, the pride that I actually made it through, the overwhelm of all the support along the route including my parents and fiancé, the grief as we rode past my late Aunts house (it had been less than two weeks since her passing), the determination to keep push on in those last 3 hours in the pouring rain on day two, and so much more."

 

The recap for those who haven't heard:

This year I challenged myself to complete the 2014 Embridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. It's a 200+ km bike ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls to raise finds for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in Toronto. PMCF have a huge goal in mind to "conquer cancer in our lifetime" and are leading the way as the #1 cancer institute in North America and one of the top 5 in the world!

 

At the time I signed up I was biking 10km or so a couple times a week with the family and figured "why not?"

To be honest, in that moment when I signed up I had two opposite theories going in my head....

1) I'm superwoman and can do anything!

2) I will never raise enough to be allowed to participate so it's ok.

 

Days later as the reality of this 200+ km bike ride started to sink in I realized that along with my excitement and nervousness something else had started to emerge. What if I did it? How would I feel? How would my daughter and fiance feel to watch me finish this huge task? What would my co-workers and students think? What if I really could make a difference? I could make a difference in the lives of current and future cancer patients with the money I raised. I could make the difference in my own health (physical and mental) with this huge challenge. I could make a difference in what my daughter believed not only I, but she was capable of too. I could show my insanely patient and supportive fiance that I wasn't just dreaming big but that I could follow through too. I could set an example to my students by showing them the things I was doing with raising the money, eating healthier (I sat and ate with them 2-3 times each day), biking to work (so they could see me being more active). I didn't tell them about these things, I just did them and answered their questions anytime they asked. Suddenly I saw all the potential of what this ride could be. What a positive force it could be and that I was not the only person affected by my decision to participate or not.

 

As often happens, life through curve balls. Schedules got busy, I made excuses, and training did not go as planned. Finally, three weeks before I kicked my butt into gear and got my first 45km day in. The next day I planned to do the same, or maybe a little more. I only got 20km in that day. That night I got the call, my Aunt who'd been in hospital for a few days at this point was fading fast. I rushed to be by her side and with my family. A week later I returned home after days at the hospital and the following memorial services.

At this point I once again doubted everything I was doing. Could I really make it though this? I wasn't as worried about the physical at this point as the emotional. Thank goodness for the friends and family who stood by me.

 

Come 8am on Saturday June 7th, there I was...all suited up among the sea of riders ready to go with my daughter and fiance looking on. It was actually here!

There were moments when my body ached. There were times when I sat on the side of the road and cried (my late aunt's home was on the route). With some encouragement of friends and family who came out and supported in person or sent words of encouragement along the route I made it to the finish line with my new friend Robert by my side, my amazing Fiance Ross smiling and snapping photos, and the rain pouring down on us. As I crossed that finish line I was overcome with emotion. Relief that I had crossed the lien and could rest (and get warm and dry). Pride that I had completed this journey. And so many more, but, I held it together. I really did...until Robert leaned over to hug me just feet behind the finish line and whispered in my ear "Your aunt would be proud!" Then the waterworks truly began.

Today I'm thrilled to share this experience with you. I know I haven't shared so many of the moments along the way...the stories of riders encouraging each other, of survivors sharing their stories, families by the road with signs of encouragement & how their own lives have been touched, of my parents & niece joining me in camp, and so much more but let's face it, I could write novels for days!

I still have a ways to go in my fundraising (you can still donate at www.conquercancer.ca/goto/RebeccaNash) but I am still in awe of the entire experience. I know that I came out of that ride a little different from the woman who stood at that starting line and I'm so grateful for this experience.

 

*Huge thank you goes out to my fiance Ross for not only his support, his belief in me, his cheerleading, but, also for his photography skills in capturing the ride so you can see a little of my journey!

Behind the Lens - Being the Best Me (Health & Happiness)

You know the old expression...you can't take care of anyone if you can't take care of yourself... Well let me tell you, I am a huge fan of this expression. I spout it off to friends and family. I push them to make changes so they can be the best versions of themselves and be better moms, spouses, friends, creators, workers, etc.

And then I look in the mirror and often wind up thinking something like this

- wow I look tired!

-where did those bags come from?

-who's that sad old lady in my pajamas

 

Now it's time to get back on track, it's time to take care of me. Why? Because it's important for me to be the best I can be. When I'm taking care of me I'm a more energetic mom, a more supportive partner, a more creative photographer, and a more successful entrepreneur.

 

So how do I become the best possible me? How do I take care of me?

I'm not a high maintenance girl (anymore). Taking care of me is about feeling healthy, it's about feeling energized, it's about being inspired, and it's about valuing myself.

My top 5 ways to take care of me:

1) Eat a healthy rainbow of fruits and veg plus some lean protein!

2) Workout everyday! It doesn't have to be a huge deal but even just 15 mins on my Gazelle leaves me feeling energized and fabulous! (I'm even working on a goal of running a 5K on Nov 3rd even after swearing I'd never be a runner)

3) Meditate - Okay, Confession here...this is still a work in progress but that few moments of quiet time to concentrate on nothing but my own body and mind works wonders!

4) Sleep! Okay this one seems obvious but for me, a natural early bird, living with a night owl spouse whom I love to spend time with, I have a tendency to burn myself out fast so whenever possible I give myself an early bedtime and try to stick to it at least 5-6 days a week

5) Read - Reading is the workout for the mind. No matter whether it's photography & business, biographies, magazines, health and fitness, or even a romance I just feel so at peace when I dive into a good book and leave the world behind for a few minutes or hours on end!

And yes, I girly it up a little too...maybe I do a face mask, maybe I take a longer shower, maybe I even go all out and paint my nails, get my hair cut, or dye my hair.

 

Yours Enthusiastically Rebecca - Rebecca Nash Photography

 

 

 

 

London's Rebecca Nash is the London, Ontario based Creative Director & Photographic Artist behind Rebecca Nash Photography. She takes her emotional, elegant, artistic, and whimsical style and applies them to every portrait, wedding, or fine art experience she provides her London, Ontario photography clients.

"I believe every person’s story is different, every person is unique, and no two relationships are the same - this means no two photo shoots are the same. I thrive on the opportunity to create stunning images for amazing people all around me while giving them an experience they'll remember for a lifetime. Each client is trusting me with the opportunity to know their story, share their story, and help them in celebrating life and love in art." - Rebecca Nash

Renovation & Renewal: Month Two - Health

Wow...What a month!  

First of all, Thank you to all of you who have followed my progress on twitter & facebook. Thank you for the support, encouragement, and for sharing your stories with me. This month I have needed it more than you can imagine.

 

The month of February started with great success reaching a 3 year low of 158.5 lbs (12.5lbs lost - yahoo!) followed but the return of my hunny after 6 weeks away and our trip together (great for the relationship, bad for the waistline going back up to 165lbs in 4 days). Upon returning from our trip I was able to quickly shed most of the weight but then I got stuck! At 161/162lbs I stopped dropping the weight. I have gone up and down over these last two weeks hitting 160 at the low end and 163 at the top end but mostly hanging around the 161/162lbs.

 

As March comes upon us I'm excited to share some new goals with you...

 

1. On June 22nd, 2013 I will step on stage for the first time as a competitor in the Bikini Division of the UFE Showdown here in London. Yes, you read that right, I'm going to step on stage in a figure competition in a bikini! Talk about terrifying!

I have a lot of work to do before this will be a reality. Tighten up the diet, push through the plateaus, and tone the crap out of my body. It's going to be work, but it's going to be fantastic! My goal is not to win, but to step on stage proud of what I achieved.

 

2. To become a Fitness Instructor & Personal Trainer. I have learned so much in this process and I'm eager to share this knowledge and amazing feeling with others. I have taken the first step in discussing this with the program director at my local YMCA. This past weekend I spent my weekend with an amazing group of people as we completed our YMCA Fitness Basic Theory Course. Up next for me...Zumba Instructor Training in May!

 

What goals have you made for your nutrition, fitness and health?

 

Yours Enthusiastically Rebecca - Rebecca Nash Photography

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                               

London, Ontario photographer Rebecca Nash is your London wedding, portrait, and fine art Photographer serving London, Ontario and surrounding area through Rebecca Nash Photography. Rebecca Nash prides herself on being one of London's up and coming photography professionals gaining a following in London, Ontario and surrounding area. Rebecca has established herself as an artist through London area and Ontario Juried Art Shows, and her current "Windows on the War of 1812" two person gallery exhibition.

Renovation & Renewal: Month One - Health

This is where we get all the ugly stuff out there. Here goes... I have been eating crap (take out, chocolate, chips, highly processed foods, cookies, baked goods, and more!) without any form of moderation.

I haven't been in the gym in a year for a real workout.

Here's my before picture ( It's actually from week 3 because I forgot to take a before :S - I can't believe I'm actually putting this out there)

This is me on Jan 21st - down 2" of my waist, 1" off my hips, & 3lbs

Four weeks ago I began this journey in earnest. I'm trying to remember that little changes can bring big results. My goals for the next month are... 1) No Chocolate (other than chocolate protein powder cause it's the only one I have) 2) No Take Out or Fast Food 3) Meal Plan - Shop By The Plan - Stick to the plan 4) Prep meals ahead of time for convenience 5) Add more fruits and veggies to everyday 6) Carry water everywhere 7) Pilates Everyday for Strength & Calming (20 Mins) 8) Workout 4+ days per week - Mon & Weds is 1 hour Zumba, Tues & Thurs is Strength Training Curcuit...more on Fri & Sat whenever possible 9) Put away the scale & tape measure. Measure with the way I feel, and the way my clothes fit with weight and measurements only once per week at most!

 

After 4 weeks I achieved some results including - More Energy - 4+ Fruits & Veggies Per Day - Lost 6lbs - Down 4.5 total inches (3.5 inches waist, 1 inch hips, 0 inches bust) - Sleeping and Waking at a regular time daily

Here's my One Month Progress Photos....

This is me on Dec 30th - down 3.5" off my waist, 1" off my hips, & 6lbs since Jan 1st

I can't wait to see the results next month! What changes have you made in 2013 so far?

Yours Enthusiastically Rebecca - Rebecca Nash Photography

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                             

London, Ontario photographer Rebecca Nash is your London wedding, portrait, and fine art Photographer serving London, Ontario and surrounding area through Rebecca Nash Photography. Rebecca Nash prides herself on being one of London's up and coming photography professionals gaining a following in London, Ontario and surrounding area. Rebecca has established herself as an artist through London area and Ontario Juried Art Shows, and her current "Windows on the War of 1812" two person gallery exhibition.

Renovation & Renewal in 2013

It's a new year, and at the beginning of the year I knew this was going to be a year of change. One of the biggest things I wanted to change was my body. No this isn't about poor me I'm fat. This is about the way I feel (though losing weight always feels good too).  

Looking back just a few years ago, I felt different. I woke up energized and ready for the day. I felt optimistic, strong, healthy. I drove my friends and co-workers crazy (in the best sort of way) with my tireless energy and optimism. I slept soundly every night.

 

Now, a few short years later...I have trouble getting out of bed. I feel slugish all day long. I lack the energy and enthusiasm most days that was a cornerstone of who I was. I suffer from frequent headaches and an additional 20 some odd pounds of laziness and junk food around my midsection. I sleep poorly at night.

 

As I type this I am reminded of just how much of a difference there is. Many things have happened during these years. I met and fell in love with an amazing man who has supported me and my beautiful daughter. I bought my own house, and then sold it to share a home with my boyfriend as a family. I began my own business. So many wonderful things.

 

However, there is always the downs also...my business did not thrive as quickly as I had hoped. My spouse received a layoff notice. I started part-time work on the side. I stopped working out. I stopped my healthier eating habits. I was hit with health issues. Stress became an even more significant part of both mine and my families daily life.

 

There are some things I cannot change, but there are many things I can.

 

This year it's time for renovation and renewal of so many areas of my life including my health (healthy eating & fitness), my business (new focused direction & renewed passion), my home (my sanctuary of family), and my relationships (with my daughter, my spouse, and myself).

 

Join me as I share my journey in all these areas with both my triumphs and my failures and the realizations I know will come along the way.

Yours Enthusiastically Rebecca - Rebecca Nash Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
London, Ontario photographer Rebecca Nash is your London wedding, portrait, and fine art Photographer serving London, Ontario and surrounding area through Rebecca Nash Photography. Rebecca Nash prides herself on being one of London's up and coming photography professionals gaining a following in London, Ontario and surrounding area. Rebecca has established herself as an artist through London area and Ontario Juried Art Shows, and her current "Windows on the War of 1812" two person gallery exhibition.